Flu jab is a waste of time for 97% of patients: Vaccine developed only a year ago no longer ‘matches’ because the virus has mutated so much

Friday, February 6, 2015
By Paul Martin

Flu jab, which costs £7.60 a time, usually protects around 60% of patients
Public Health England found just 3% of patients had H3N2 strain of virus
Experts have blamed flu for spike in death rates, particularly among elderly
Death toll attributed to flu by the spring predicted to be worst since 2000
Questions raised about why health officials did not raise the alarm earlier

6 February 2015

The flu jab will protect just three per cent of patients this winter, health experts warned last night.

They say the virus that causes the illness has mutated so much that it no longer ‘matches’ the current vaccine, which was only developed a year ago. The 3 per cent figure predicted by experts at Public Health England would be the worst in at least a decade.

The NHS spends around £100million each year on the flu vaccination programme, with each jab costing £7.60. Although it is never totally effective, it usually protects around 60 per cent of patients. Last night questions were being asked about why health officials did not raise the alarm earlier.

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